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Another Microsoft Blunder, another wasted hour of productivity. But this is for the Business Market.
The Features - A few more than Vista Home Premium, but essentially this is a business based edition. Mainly corporate networking utilities/features.
The side bar is pretty cool, with lots of little gadgets to keep you up to date on stocks & shares/Exchange Rates/Weather/News.
In addition, the start menu is significantly better than previous versions of windows, in that the search feature is built in making it a much better offering, and far more useable.
The task bar has also improved significantly over the years, and the little preview program windows, make navigating around the OS Significantly better. Control panel also lives up to this hype, of great simplicity for the causal, or new PC user. Having said that, as an advanced user, Vista is beginning it easier to configure the basics.
The Reliability - A lot to be questioned. Although it does not crash frequently, Vista is prone to regularly freezing for a minute or so, but up to 20+ times a day. However it boots up at a reasonable speed - this is hardware dependent though!
The User Friendliness - As discussed in the features, it is far easier to use than previous versions of Windows. This makes it ideal for new beginners, specially if you consider yourself a technophobic switching from a previous one version of Windows.
The Installation - Vista was pre-installed by the office configuration team remotely. A painfully slow process as an upgrade, but I have heard positive reviews for clean installs, taking around an hour on a 1-2 year old mid spec machine.
The Update Possibility-Very easy from Windows 2000 onwards, to Vista. But 3 Gig of Ram is the true minimum!
The Summary - Increased usability, especially for the office user, but a very unreliable OS when combined with older versions of software, something many business have. Upgrade with caution, ensuring you purchase the latest MS products.
Microsoft Windows Vista is the successor to the Windows XP operating system and has been pre-installed and sold with millions of PCs and laptops. I've been using Vista Business on my laptop simply because it came with it, but have also played around with the Home Premium and Ultimate flavours. Let me start by saying I hate it and it's no wonder they came out with Windows 7 so quickly since the Vista's launch. Windows XP seems to have been around for ages whereby Vista seems to only have had a shelf life of about 3-4 years, which says a lot about how unsuccessful it has been. I work in IT support and many people I know of who've bought new machines with Vista pre-loaded have chosen to downgrade to XP, which again, says a lot about how popular it is.
Most people will not need to worry about installing it unless they're upgrading from XP or re-installing for whatever reason but installing is pretty easy and quite similar to installing XP. Something nice about it is that rather than formatting and wiping everything, it keeps a copy of everything in a folder called windows.old so you can access the files if you later find that you've forgotten to back up a particular file. Installation time varies depending on PC specification but slow PCs can take over an hour to install whereby newer and more powerful machines can install it all in under half an hour.
Windows XP has Windows XP Professional and Home edition. Why the sod does Vista have to have Basic, Home Premium, Business and Ultimate? Not only do they confuse us by releasing so many different versions but Microsoft had the nerve to charge us a small fortune for this badly made product. A retail copy of Home Premium costs a pricey £124+ and the Ultimate edition was going for a rip-off £244 (RRP). Windows 7 costs half that and it only just came out!
Vista is a massive memory hog and so using it on a slower machine can be extremely frustrating. When I was playing about with Vista Ultimate on my PC (on my current system, a 2.66GHz Core 2 Duo PC with 4GB RAM btw), I had MAJOR performance issues after a while. I had to go back to XP in the end...TWICE. The thing kept using up 100% of the CPU resources. No idea why and I'm not the only one either but it had problems. On my laptop with Vista Business though, I've not had problems to that extent but quite often, programs just stop responding and it does lag quite frequently for no reason. The laptop is a pretty powerful one as well (Samsung X460, 2.26GHz Core2Duo with 3GB RAM).
Next is the user interface. They've moved a lot of stuff around since XP and despite being a gee....err....very IT literate, I sometimes struggle to find certain things. Well, at least it will take me longer. Even navigating around folders using the address bar takes some getting used to.
I've also had problems with the wireless on my laptop whereby it either doesn't want to connect to wireless access points unless I reboot and sometimes this is after just powering on. This happens more often than I'd like and it happens both at home and at work. If it wakes up from Sleep mode, it happens as well sometimes. Today, it just randomly went off in the middle of transferring files and I had to reboot to re-connect. There's one wireless network at work which I can no longer connect to. Removing all the settings associated with that network card doesn't work either.
This may be due to the wireless card or drivers on my laptop but this leads me to another bugbear. Vista drivers have been a pain from the start. Releasing Vista forced computer hardware and peripheral manufacturers to make software drivers so that their devices worked with Vista. Not such a big problem with mainstream items but there are many things that didn't have Vista drivers available for a while and some will not ever. If it's an essential piece of kit, then you'd just have to stick with XP.
There's also the problem with software compatibility whereby you can no longer install certain programs on Vista until the makers update their programs. There are programs that will not get updated and if it's essential, then, again, you would just need to stick with XP. I've not had major problems with most programs but other people have.
Next thing that bugs me is how it blocks you from doing every little thing. i.e. installing programs, hardware, going into system configuration programs. This (the User Account Control) can be turned off in the User Accounts settings but it is irritating. It may or may not stop users from installing dodgy virus infected software but chances are they would do it anyway regardless of the irritating message, so it's very pointless.
Much like XP and all other Microsoft operating systems, you got the endless security updates every Tuesday or whenever each month. Vista can still catch viruses but on a brighter note, I've not had to deal with as many as with XP but that may just be because lots of people are sticking with XP.
NOT ALL BAD
There are a few things that I do like though. First off is the Windows Experience Index, which rates how good the machine is based on the processor, memory (RAM), Graphics, Gaming Graphics and Hard drive performance. It then gives you a base score by picking the lowest rating out of the bunch. Would make more sense if it worked out an average but it's good enough as it does provide the breakdown of what each part scores. If overall, it scores 2 or below, the 3D effects are disabled, which sort of makes Vista Home Basic rather pointless as it's just a toned down version of Home Premium.
The graphical interface is quite pretty to look at and I do prefer the black taskbar (thing across the bottom with the Start button on the left) to what XP had to offer without resorting to install third party 'Skins'. The Windows Aero feature being the transparency and how you see 3D windows when you did Windows key and Tab on the keyboard does look nice but Apple Macintosh operating systems have had these effects for years now. Vista just has that, which doing Alt and Tab more or less does it anyway but in a less pretty manor. Why they didn't just make Alt and Tab (what most people would be used to) do it, I don't know.
Something nice though is that Microsoft did make some thoughtful changes for users in general. If you have file extensions showing, when you choose to rename a file, it will select just the file name whilst omitting the extension in the selection. This way, users are less likely to unwittingly change the file extension. On top of that, there are some nice tools like built-in voice recognition. Sure, it's not great but nice to play with. There's also the 'Snipping Tool', which lets you do a screen capture of a selected part of the screen, which you can then save, copy, email and even draw on before sending it to a document/to someone. This tool saves you having to paste your screen capture into MS Paint (or similar) and then having to crop it there.
In Home Premium and Ultimate, the Media Centre feature is brilliant if you have a machine with a TV card. It's easy to use and works like a charm for viewing TV programmes and schedule recording. This Media Centre originally showed up in Windows Media Centre Edition and it's a nice additional to Vista (Premium and Ultimate only). Sadly, my Business edition on my laptop doesn't have it.
- Looks pretty
- Vista Business entitles you to a free downgrade to XP Professional! (Yay!)
- Some good features tailored to make the user experience easier
- May be more secure than XP
- Bad memory (RAM) management causing random program crashes
- Resource hog
- They moved everything around
- Random problems with wireless?
- Stupid messages that block you doing everything (but at least can be turned off)
- Vista Business doesn't have the Media Centre
To conclude, either stick with XP or go straight to Windows 7, which is more memory efficient. That or install Linux or get a Mac! Vista is not worth the stress. As for me, as Vista Business entitles me to a free downgrade to XP, I'm going to do just that!
Thanks for reading!
The dreaded Vista. Many people fall on different sides of the argument. Is it good? Is it crappy?
A lot of the people who outright slate Vista are often those who you see reminiscing about the days when it took 10 minutes to download a picture on the web. If they do not fall into this category they are either those who own a Mac or the dreaded 'I hate Microsoft for the sake of it' bunch that I find seem to grace my Computer Science lectures on a regular basis.
So what is my opinion? Well, I've grown up with computers and they are my biggest interest. I've used Linux (you'll find my Ubuntu review on here) and thought it was very good however when it comes to hardware compatibility it falls short of most of Microsoft's offerings. Then there is Mac. Mac is largely Linux that you pay for and although it can boast being virus free it is only a matter of time before some genius causes its downfall. XP is much loved by many users and a number of those who used Vista ended up returning to the OS they had come to know and love. I on the over hand have stuck with Vista and given it a chance. I can safely say, that I am proud to be a Vista user.
So why does it get such bad press? Well if like me you have a very powerful computer then you will probably be asking this question. Let's get to it, Vista is very demanding on resources in comparison to XP and as many users are operating on 2GB of memory or less then they are of course going to see a performance lag as Vista uses around 1GB during routine operation whereas XP uses 512mb.
Vista is designed for the dual and quad core generation and these systems will obviously feel its benefits. At first, many found that a lot of their original hardware would not work with Vista however since service pack 1 and 2 this problem is now non existent.
In terms of security, business is designed to be more secure than the other flavours and no matter what others say, I know that it is more secure than XP. Under XP I found that I was picking up some sort of virus every so often whereas with Vista I have so far encountered nothing. Okay, so the UAc (User Account Control) can be very annoying and patronising however if you know what you are doing you can easily disable it with no loss of security.
Vista is visually stunning and the much showed of Aero scheme is a step towards the dizzying heights that Linux OS have acheived visually however Vista is a good all round OS. It is different from XP and takes a lot of getting used to however once you give it time you will see that it is more powerful and altogether smoother to use than the now almost ancient XP.
If you have a copy of Vista I would seriously advise you give it another try. If not, I would seriously recommend that you buy a copy as even if you don't like it you will get a free upgrade to the new Windows 7 OS when it comes out in October this year.
I have been using Microsoft Windows Vista Business for about 6 months now and can definitely say that I prefer Windows XP. One of the main things that I noticed about Vista was how sluggish it was, the machine I am running it on is a decent spec and I really expected it to be a lot quicker. To me I haven't really found any major benefits of Vista, with it being slower it has put be off straight away. You can tweak it to look similar to XP which is what I have done, I found there are few options that you can change such as turning off the desktop ticker and the also the aero option to improve performance. Although it may get a bit annoying the enhanced security features are needed especially I suppose for some people who just install and click on anything, the UAC feature informs you when a program want to access the computer or requests permissions, this feature I believe can be turned off but I have left it on as I believe it will help prevent viruses and spyware. I have spoken to a lot of people recently who have purchased a new machine which has come with Vista installed and they are not entirely happy with either. I will continue using XP where possible and wait or Windows 7 to come out, as they seem to have improved the speed in that version.
Cam included with my business laptop and I've been using it for the last three months.
I must admit that I have mixed feelings regarding Windows vista. I do see it is the safest and most feature rich windws up to date but on the other hand, it seems very slow (and my company laptop is rather good) and I can't honestly say that I find some of the new features, as for instance the new start bar, usefull in any way.
The newest windows does have some nice features however. It's imposible not fo fall in love with aero, and some of the included applications, such as the file manager (explorer) or windows media player are definately easier to use and more powerfull than previous versions.
Overall, it is quite good, but on my home computer I still prefer XP. I think Windows XP is just more natural, fast and easier to use. It was a good try, but I don't think microsoft got everything quite right on this one.
Hopefully, windows 7 will be better.
So Windows Vista, where should i start.
Well from installation i guess. Overall the installation was quite quick for the size, probably faster than the time it took to install Windows XP.
When you first get into Windows Vista it has a very clean layout and you can clearly see that its taken a few bits from the Mac and fused it with Windows and has left it with a nice clean look.
A few nifty features include pressing windows and tab, a lot like Alt + Tab but instead of seeing an icon of the window you wish to open you see the whole window and it is an impressive feature to look at.
Again being able to preview your window continues when you highlight over a window in your toolbar.
Overall Windows Vista is slow. Very rarely does it out perform Windows XP even as the software developed with Vista in mind does the performance see a slight hiccup compared with XP.
The main areas in performance it suffers is first of all games. You find most games just run better in XP. However with Windows vista you do get to utilize Direct X 10 which is supposdly fantastic and can create some amazing graphics compared with Direct X9 however i am still yet to see some major differences. I looked at Crysis on both Direct X 9 and Direct X 10 and the differnce was negligle bar a few lighting effects.
The other area where performance lacks is USB data transfer. Even with the recently released Service Pack 1 the data transfer speed is pathetic in comparison with XP and is highely annoying considering the size of files nowadays and the amount of storage one can have.
Another aspect Vista destroys your hardwares performance is when looking at your Random Access Memory more commonly known as your RAM. To have all the different effects that Vista uses up a lot of memory. Also if you have a 32bit version of Vista you cant really get 4gb of RAM, Service Pack one is said to fix this however some still dont get maximum performance from their RAM when using Vista 32 bit.
There is one nice feature of Vista that springs to mind and that is the live search. Which is a feature which allows you to start typing and as you type the results are instantly popping up. So if you were looking for a document for example and it was called Dooyoo, and you pressed the D button it would instantly show all the documents begining with D. Its a nice feature and speeds things up which is rare thing to say when talking about Vista.
A more annoying feature is the UAC or the User Access Control (i think) and this must be turned off for your own sanity. What this does is block any action to be carried out without your permission. For example you say i want to install a file this UAC feature will ask you Are you sure you want to do that? and you think to yourself "OF COURSE I FRIGGIN DO, THATS WHY I CLICKED IT!!!" and after a few times you too will get pissed off with it like me.
Also with the UAC on you may find certain items dont run properly or online applications maybe blocked until you right click the icon and say "run as administrator".
Overall the UAC and many other features are blocked from the user and have to be found manually which can be very annoying. Vista hides away a lot of things which to the average user is useful i guess but personally i find it annoying and am finding myself google'in everything to find where things are hidden.
Windows Vista, visually is very nice, my dad owns a Imac and i prefer the look and feel compared to his Operating System, Leapord. However in terms of performance Vista seriously does lack, they have dumbed it down so the stupid computer user wont feel initimidated.
On the good side Windows Vista is a stable operating system and was fairly bug-less when it came out of the box.
Theres no point saying whether i recomend you to get it as getting Windows Vista is like moving from VHS to DVD some transitions just must be done at some point.
Lets get this over with quickly. Vista is a pile of poo.
I do not make this claim lightly, I have been a beta-tester for Microsoft since 1989, testing first Windows 3.0 then 3.1, 3.11, and Windows for workgroups.
I have tested Windows Chicago (Win95) right through to Vista.
In 2001, XP was released, and contrary to what most people around here think, XP was not the greatest system Microsoft produced, that title falls to Windows 2000.
However, XP was released, and as soon as it hit the shelves, it was snapped up by the bucketload. For some reason people liked it, Microsoft was onto a winner.
Then the guys in Redmond put out the specs for Longhorn, the follow up to XP, the specifications to it were very impressive, no latency, enhanced security, database filesystem, drivers in user space.
Since the initial press release, there have been a few beta versions, and in each version things were getting dropped. Eventually Longhorn was released, (in beta form), as Vista.
First to go was the database filesystem. Pity, it has been in Linux for years and works excellently there.
Next was the drivers in user space. A driver crash will still take down Vista.
The enhanced security ? Sorry, that too is non-existent. Vista included UAC - User Access Control, all this does is ask you permission before screwing up your computer.
Vista Ultimate includes Bitlocker. This in theory will lock your hard drive so that if your PC is stolen, no-one can see your files, however, it was written incorrectly and currently Citibank are suing Microsoft for $15 Billion of lost revenue, as Bitlocker screwed up and took out their whole New York department... A department that Microsoft were using as an ad campaign as they had moved their desktops to Vista from XP.....
Bill Gates believes Vista is a flop, and although he does not admit is outright, he deflects questions about Vista by saying that Windows Vienna will be released in 2009. (As a beta tester, I have seen Vienna, and if I were you, I would look to switch to Linux pretty soon).
Lastly, if you have Ultimate or Premium editions of Vista, call Microsoft with any problem, and the call advisor will supply you with a CD-Key for XP that will allow you to revert to XP. They will however, not refund any cash.
Having installed vista business the day it was released on my first machine (dual core 3.2, 2gb RAM good graphics card) I was expecting to have hundred's of problems as with xp release and the beta version.
i do have the Multi user liscense version, others may vary slightly
I put the disc in, booted the disc, hit a few keys, agreed to the EULA and away it went. It looks like it dumps the installation files onto the computer, compressed. then uncompressing once across. This made the install 10ish no longer than 15 mins. before i was given the desktop screen with the welcome screen. would have usually taken 40 with XP.
If you connect (like i did) to the internet when it gives you the welcome screen, in the bottom right of the desktop it shows that it is connecting and downloads every latest drivers available! i recomend doing this as it is then (for me) extremley stable.
I did end up with a horrible virus which was embeded in some networked files which ment i had to wipe and reinstall, but this was no problem!
Vista itself is great, and have since installed it on 10 machines! It is so much faster compared to xp. and everything just seems to work, unlike xp!
Windows update has also been improved and works a charm, it now requires less restarts then older versions.
The difference between other versions is in the media center side of Vista. but i feel with the new version of windows media player 11, there is no need to go out and buy the ultimate edtion. there are also other free software out there that does a better job than media player alround.
Vista also give you a performance value for different aspects of your machine! this is brilliant and much need for people who want to make their machine faster but dont know what part or area to buy for. (brilliant feature)
The best advice i can give is that before any update, make sure that all drivers are available for all your devices. or be prepared to spend more on replacing older models or waiting for the drivers. most are out now but even some big named companies are taken there time in releasing their drivers.